Fighting for Florida
Today, I held a roundtable at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to discuss the opioid crisis plaguing Florida. Participants included members of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida Department of Children and Families, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and others.
I’m grateful for the work these community leaders are doing in the struggle against this epidemic plaguing Florida, and it was good to hear directly from them. We discussed the supply of opioids on our streets, the spike in the price of narcan, the drug used to treat overdoses, the impacts of fentanyl and carfentanil, and the lack of resources for treating those addicted to these drugs. We also talked about how important it is for assistance providers to improve coordination so that smart and timely decisions are made regarding treatment.
The federal government has an important role to play in combatting the opioid crisis – including fully funding CARA, passing the STOP Act in this Congress, and aggressive cooperation with our allies abroad to stop its international trafficking. It is also important that state and federal officials work together to determine the most efficient way to combat this crisis. The heroin epidemic has increasingly become a part of everyday life in Florida communities, endangering loved ones, causing vast suffering and heartache, and far too many funerals for people we know. This disease can touch just about anyone, and we must all work together to fight this epidemic.
Photos below courtesy of the office of Senator Marco Rubio.
Background on Senator Rubio’s efforts to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in Florida:
- February 14, 2017 - Rubio introduced the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, legislation that would restrict the flow of fentanyl into country via the U.S. Postal Service. Unlike UPS or FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service does not currently require advance electronic customs data for the vast majority of incoming international mail.
- October 25, 2016 – Rubio published an op-ed in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on the heroin epidemic:
- Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Rubio: Law targets heroin crisis
- September 13, 2016 - Rubio called on the Senate to fund the fight against the heroin and fentanyl epidemic in Florida.
- July 13, 2016 - Rubio applauded the Senate’s vote to move forward on passing the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA). Rubio cosponsored the legislation, which is aimed at addressing the national epidemic of prescription opioid drug abuse and heroin use.
- May 26, 2016 - Rubio chaired a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing on the international roots of America’s heroin epidemic.
- May 16, 2016 - Rubio met with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to discuss the heroin epidemic sweeping through Central Florida.
- February 8, 2016 - Rubio backed legislation to combat drug addiction and support recovery.